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How Connor Bédard put on a show in his first exhibition game with the Blackhawks

ST. PAUL, MN — It was just an exhibition showcasing prospects, but the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft did what he could to live up to the incredible hype that surrounded.

Leave it to Connor Bedard to steal the show the first time he took the ice for competition of any kind as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

On Saturday, the center stepped on the ice for the first time at the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase in St. Paul, Minnesota, and made an immediate impact. Bédard scored a hat trick while providing an assist in a 5-0 victory against a group of St. Louis Blues prospects.

In the second period, Bédard placed the puck on the right side of the net and fired a wrist shot into the goal from the circle to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. Later in the second period, the center collected the puck in the middle of the slot, then moved around defenders to the left before placing another shot into the goal from a difficult angle.

In the third period, Bédard once again caught the pass in front of the net, then headed to his right before pull the puck to the lower left side of the net for the hat trick.

“It was fun,” Bédard said of the competition. “Finally playing a game. It was really good pace, physical. Yeah, we had a lot of fun, so it’s good to get this first game started and go from there.

Bédard did not play in the second game against the Wild prospects on Sunday and is now preparing for the start of his first NHL training camp. The Blackhawks are scheduled to take the ice for their first practice Thursday at 11 a.m. at Fifth Third Arena.

NBC Chicago

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